Pharyngula

Catholic hypocrisy…of course

A Catholic abbot is accusing Disney of corrupting children. It’s not because they are transmitting bad ideas, but that they are all tied to Disney’s corporate motives.

While he acknowledges that Disney stories carry messages showing good triumphing over evil, he argues this is part of a ploy to persuade people that they should buy Disney products in order to be “a good and happy family”.
He cites films such as Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians that feature moral battles, but get into children’s imaginations and make them greedy for the merchandise that goes with them.

Now I can sympathize to some extent — Disney’s be-all and end-all is profit, after all — but … it’s coming from a high-ranking member of the Catholic church. You could say exactly the same things about the church: they are promoting high-minded moral values, but at the same time they are tying them to the exclusivity of their church. Why should I think Disneyism is any worse than Catholicism or Lutheranism or the Baptist church?

There’s also another little matter of hypocrisy here, since the Catholic church is one of the last organizations that ought to be complaining about the corruption of children. In another piece of news, a document explaining the Catholic church’s official policy in response to child-abuse allegations has come up. Guess what the message is?

The 69-page Latin document bearing the seal of Pope John XXIII was sent to every bishop in the world. The instructions outline a policy of ‘strictest’ secrecy in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and threatens those who speak out with excommunication.

They also call for the victim to take an oath of secrecy at the time of making a complaint to Church officials. It states that the instructions are to ‘be diligently stored in the secret archives of the Curia [Vatican] as strictly confidential. Nor is it to be published nor added to with any commentaries.’

You got it — the concern is not for the well-being of children, but for an immediate clamp-down of information and maintenance of internal secrecy. Disney and the Vatican may both be evil organizations, but only one shows a world-wide pattern of child molestation and a policy of protection of serial child abusers.

Comments

  1. #1 JohnnieCanuck
    November 29, 2008

    The existence of the Crimine solicitationies is not exactly breaking news, PZ.

  2. #2 Jadehawk
    November 29, 2008

    personally i find disneyism less horrible than Religion. at least, no one tells you you’ll suffer for all eternity if you don’t go see their newest movie…

  3. #3 Arrow Quivershaft
    November 29, 2008

    I’d have to disagree that Disney doesn’t have a world-wide pattern of child abuse. Disney uses offshore sweatshops staffed by children to produce much of their merchandise. It’s a subcontract job, but that doesn’t exonerate them from guilt.

  4. #4 'Tis Himself
    November 29, 2008

    The Catholic Church lost all chance it could claim any sort of moral authority when it made covering up crimes against children an official policy.

  5. #5 Becca
    November 29, 2008

    personally i find disneyism less horrible than Religion. at least, no one tells you you’ll suffer for all eternity if you don’t go see their newest movie…

    clearly you don’t have small children.

  6. #6 Eva
    November 29, 2008

    shirley, this will scare away even the staunchest catholics, and the church will shrivel up and die fast. obviously. i mean, it has to…

    right???

  7. #7 castletonsnob
    November 29, 2008

    This dates back to 2003, referring to a document produced in 1962, so I wouldn’t call it a recent development.

    What it does do is add to the Church’s already well-documented history of cover-up and conspiracy, holding itself above the laws of “mere mortals.”

    I think it would also be fair to say that many institutions, religious and otherwise, have problems with pedophilia and other forms of sexual abuse. What makes the Church particularly and perhaps uniquely culpable is its systematic betrayal of the victims through intimidation, payoffs, and apathy, and by thwarting criminal investigations.

  8. #8 Blind Squirrel FCD
    November 29, 2008

    The “news” article cited is dated 2003. As mentioned above, hardly news. Still deplorable though.

  9. #9 Steve Saunders
    November 29, 2008

    No one expects the Catholic Hypocr–

    Oh… wait.

    Nevermind.

    It’s probably only a matter of time before Disney has its own clergy. Sigh.

  10. #10 ChrisKG
    November 29, 2008

    This reminds me of the documentary “Deliver us from evil” which exposes the Catholic Church and their role in covering up the abuse of children.

    Rent it if you can find it.

    Chris

  11. #11 Ryan F Stello
    November 29, 2008

    They also call for the victim to take an oath of secrecy at the time of making a complaint to Church officials.

    Placing the responsibility on victims to meet the needs of offenders sounds psychotic to me.

    And it makes it easier for an offender to repeat their actions.

    Have they learned nothing?

  12. #12 Pierce R. Butler
    November 29, 2008

    Ryan F Stello –

    Yeah, they’ve learned how to place the responsibility on victims to meet the needs of offenders.

  13. #13 Capital Dan
    November 29, 2008

    Gyaagh! The Catholics really turn my stomach. They are an evil, evil mob. I’d rather leave my child in the hands of the Hell’s Angels than trust a scum-sucking Catholic priest/rapist.

  14. #14 Arnosium Upinarum
    November 29, 2008

    What bugs me is why every single last bishop who receives that outrageously shameless edict (IN LATIN, of course) won’t have the moral balls to protest it. (I would be very surprised to hear of just ONE such example anytime in the next decade).

    Would their reluctance to do the right thing hinge on the threat of excommunication? NAAH. They’re not nearly THAT ideological. Bishops already have it pretty posh and a good thing going. It’s downright heavenly. To preserve their station, they’ll just go along with whatever the non-secular mafia overlords hand them, moral questions be damned.

    Most may be breathing a sigh of relief that the godfather decided not to mess around with trying to replace so many of them. That would be…”scandalous”, I believe is the right word. If the edict had gone the other way (no, I know it’s laughably preposterous, I just raise it for the sake of a hypothetical argument) we would have been much entertained by the spectacle of robed rats fleeing a fleet of doomed ships.

    So, evidently, since nobody can rely on the Church hierarchy for even the most rudimentary ethical or moral guidance, maybe victims of abuse can be better encouraged to exhibit these virtues where none is found in the Church, and show ‘em how it’s done. The guys in the flashy garb are obviously in some need of remedial instruction. It’s time to educate them. It shouldn’t much upset their set-up: they can easily file it under, “Out of the mouths of babes…”

  15. #15 Katkinkate
    November 29, 2008

    My beef with Disney is in 2 parts:
    1. the amount of stuff I learned from their nature documentaries that had to be unlearned later;
    2. the formulaic happy-ever-after, good triumph over evil, fairytale meme does not prepare people for the randomness of reality.

  16. #16 Reed
    November 30, 2008

    OT, but another example of Catholic hypocrisy struck me recently:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7745455.stm

    Roman Catholics maintain that the campaign against Christianity which took place in Japan in the early 1600s was more ferocious than any other religious persecution in the history of the Church.

    At the time there were approximately 400,000 Catholics and many who did not renounce their faith were killed. Crucifixion and burning at the stake were common forms of execution.

    No doubt terrible atrocities were committed, but the “more ferocious than any other religious persecution in the history of the Church” strikes me as a bit of a stetch, unless they exclude those perpetrated by the church itself.

    Or are we to believe the church never did anything like this ?

  17. #17 maxamillion
    November 30, 2008

    Does no one else see the irony in this ?

    While he acknowledges that Disney stories carry messages showing good triumphing over evil, he argues this is part of a ploy to persuade people that they should buy Disney products in order to be “a good and happy family”.

  18. #18 BMcP
    November 30, 2008

    Disney’s be-all and end-all is profit, after all

    Well yeah, what else is really the purpose of a for profit corporation? Why anyone would be shocked by this, let alone the Catholic church, is beyond me.

  19. #19 Newfie
    November 30, 2008

    One of the biggest tipping points of Catholic abuse happened here in Newfoundland http://www.mountcashelorphanage.com/
    There was a movie made about it… http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106473/
    As a teenager, I had a male friend who went to Catholic school, who would tell me of his sexual exploits with his Christian Brothers teachers. This was junior high/middle school.. grades 7 to 9. There was also a lot of sexual abuse in his own family in this regard… and looking back on it now… 30 years on, I know that it was much more rampant that even I thought, or realized at the time… with the upbringing that he had, I can see how he thought this was just a normal thing… and as a 13 year old who went to public school, and didn’t see anything like this in my school, I was torn. I knew my friend had homosexual tendancies, but overall, I didn’t think of him as a homosexual… this just seemed a regular thing to him, and he didn’t have a problem with it… but when the Mount Cashel story broke, I finally realized how systemic it was. The local Catholic Church, not only turned a blind eye to the pedophilia that was happening, but when problems arose.. they would just move the brothers/priest to different parishes to continue with that abuse.
    But, back then… you never dared to question the Church of Rome.
    How many scared people are out there dealing with this? But are afraid to speak out?
    Religion does poison everything.. because it is about control.. and fear.
    I was brought up Anglican, at my Grandparent’s insistence… but I never bought into the dogma… it was a social thing.. but looking back, even that was all bullshit.
    Churches are only franchises, to make money, and control the stupid, and brainwash them.

  20. #20 Jeeves
    November 30, 2008

    “2. the formulaic happy-ever-after, good triumph over evil, fairytale meme does not prepare people for the randomness of reality.”

    Quite right. I, for one, would like to see more hardship, heartbreak and confusion in children’s cartoons and movies. Less sing alongs with cuddly animals and more unpredictable events and sadness. If only the Lion King had had a few foreclosures in it…

  21. #21 Jello
    November 30, 2008

    Having grown up catholic and since wandered away out of shear boredom with it all I can say that I bear no particular personal grudge against the church but documents like these reinforce the obvious fact that the catholic church, or any faith really, is not personally endorsed by any kind of deity and is in fact a supreme example of the pathetic attempts of primitive man to imagine life and death as he wants it to be rather then dealing with it as it is.

  22. #22 Feynmaniac
    November 30, 2008

    Disney and the Vatican may both be evil organizations, but only one shows a world-wide pattern of child molestation and a policy of protection of serial child abusers.

    Wait until the story about the guys in Mickey Mouse costumes breaks. By giving them that job Disney is in effect making them celibate.

  23. #23 Jimminy Christmas
    November 30, 2008

    I have yet to see one documented case of a young boy being anally raped by Mickey Mouse. FUCK YOU, POPE.

  24. #24 Hank Fox
    November 30, 2008

    An official policy on how to cover up abuse? No matter how old it is … sheeee-it!

    If there are still former altar boys thinking of suing the Catholic Church for past abuse, I hope they’ll take note that this document exists.

    And seriously, isn’t this prime evidence for a RICO conspiracy case against the Vatican?

  25. #25 Ron Sullivan
    November 30, 2008

    Friend of mine just dropped this item over on Toad in the Hole.

    I’m full of roast goose and I’m going to bed before I think about this too much to sleep.

  26. #26 Paul Murray
    November 30, 2008

    Religion is jealous of any exercise of the imagination. It wants that imaginative faculty at all times to be preoccupied with it’s own imaginary world, not that of Disney or anyone else. Your daydreams should be about Jesus and the saints.

    That’s why they hate D&D, RPGs, and any secular art in general. It’s why they have always hated the theatre.

  27. #27 Jadehawk
    November 30, 2008

    Quite right. I, for one, would like to see more hardship, heartbreak and confusion in children’s cartoons and movies. Less sing alongs with cuddly animals and more unpredictable events and sadness. If only the Lion King had had a few foreclosures in it…

    sticking a wee bit closer to the originals would be quite sufficient. the amount of mutilation that Greek Mythology had to undergo for “Hercules” was absolutely ridiculous.

  28. #28 Scrabcake
    November 30, 2008

    Sigh. I’m going to tentatively call this one in favour of the Catholics. I feel that this priest can address the corruption of children without having to acknowledge the priest molestation scandal. Firstly, I think it would only be hypocrisy of this particular abbot were molesting children, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. As it is, how do we know that this Abbot is NOT one of the ones who would like to or has spoken out about the molestation scandal?
    With the passage of the above edict, we may never know. However, while priests may not be allowed to speak on that particular evil, they can express frustration with, say, Disney. It’s a little ignoble, but if you can help the world by either mentioning the elephant in the room jeopardizing your career and standing, or by speaking out on a different social issue, most people I think would pick the later.
    The order of secrecy itself, however, is abominable.

  29. #29 Hank Fox
    November 30, 2008

    Scrabcake, I agree with what I think is the desire behind your sentiments. But I continue to see a problem with the fact that a man who speaks on the subject of corrupting children FROM A POSITION OF AUTHORITY, when the organization from which he derives his authority is so obviously discredited on the subject.

    It’s like having Tony Soprano chide schools on the proper way to teach students about conflict resolution.

    I might even agree with his take on Disney and its effect on children, but I’d much rather the issue was raised by … oh, maybe a noted child psychologist.

  30. #30 Rick
    November 30, 2008

    I know how bad disney can get, I work for em
    and I know how bad catholics are, I live with em
    So its no surprise they pull this

  31. #31 secularguy
    November 30, 2008

    JohnnieCanuck (#1) wrote:

    The existence of the Crimine solicitationies is not exactly breaking news, PZ.

    Did you mean: Crimen sollicitationis

  32. #32 MickyW
    November 30, 2008

    This from an interview in yesterday’s Irish Independent with Fr. Patrick Rushe, the Catholic Church’s head of vocations: “The vast majority of priests didn’t abuse. Only 2 percent of priests did.”
    I wonder how many 2 percent of all priests in Ireland is? How many sick, disgusting paedophiles is that exactly? Must be quite a lot. I wish that we could somehow bring this church to its knees, strip it of all its assets and hand them back to the communities who’ve been deceived and abused and made to live in fear for centuries.

  33. #33 Alan Kellogg
    November 30, 2008

    Funny, I thought corrupting children was redundant.

    OTOH I admire Disney for letting a woman play Cthulhu in The Little Mermaid. :)

  34. #34 Robert Byers
    November 30, 2008

    From Canada
    This evangelical christian says AMEN to this catholic leader. The Roman catholic leaders are becoming daily more strong in opposing the common media influences on society.
    The Catholic leaders and serious Catholics out of proportion advance Christian goodness and wisdom in influencing society. Any abuses are a trivial acts of individuals.
    I love great movies or tv but am profoundly angry and outraged at how even the most seeming innocent movie has long rants of presumptions and conclusions of hostility and activism against Christianity and the common people of nations or in other words Nationalism/patriotism.
    I just innocently recently watched the movie THE WEDDING CRASHERS with Vaughn/Southern guy etc.
    Instead it was another Jewish rant about the evil WASP being the enemy of all non WASP’s in the land and morally dysfuntional in every way. While the fine Jewish and other people , worthy of THEIR money/success, worthy to be thought well of.
    It ruins the fun and the movie wasn’t what I thought from the buzz.
    I find Hollywood is at war with the true American, Yankee or southerner, in regards to who is deserving of the good things of America including the credit, intellectually and moral for America. I find the losers bitterly envying, resenting, and spitefully lashing out at the American man who who let very foreign people’s in every way into his home.
    Its not just that they have too speak English. They have to be American in everything except identity/loyalty in the heart and motivations.
    I do find the Jewish ones the worst and most powerful but all hyphenated “Americans’ (including the OLD Southerners) reveal too me a inferiority complex and a malice toward main street USA. Not every person but a general inclination.
    This comes through Hollywood loud and clear if you pay careful attention.
    The struggles between identies within a boundary never ends till the identies have merged or close enough in national identity. Save for very open contracts between peoples within a boundary.

  35. #35 Wowbagger
    November 30, 2008

    I do so love it when Robert Byers slips out of his straitjacket and busts into the room his institution keeps its computer in.

    Watch out, Robert – there’s someone behind you!

  36. #36 negentropyeater
    November 30, 2008

    Byers,

    Its not just that they have too speak English.

    Now, you obviously don’t have to.
    (…and that’s from a frenchman)

  37. #37 hyperdeath
    November 30, 2008

    Robert Byers wins the “First moron to glibly pronounce that the Catholic church isn’t responsible because the abuse was merely the act of individuals” award.

    No one is criticising the church for the fact that some of its members turned out to be paedophiles. What they are criticising is the high-level cover ups. I know you’re an idiot, but please try to understand this point.

  38. #38 negentropyeater
    November 30, 2008

    Byers,

    is English your main language ?

  39. #39 Nick Gotts
    November 30, 2008

    How long before Robert Byers starts telling us about the ZOG? Interesting, in a repellent way, that in Byers we have a loony Protestant who admires the Catholic Church – IIRC, it’s common knowledge in loony Protestant circles that the Pope is the spawn of Satan and/or the Antichrist.

  40. #40 Russell Blackford
    November 30, 2008

    I just have to laugh, albeit somewhat bitterly, whenever I see religionist – particular representatives of the Cult of Misery – having anything at all to say about children. These are the people who indoctrinate trusting young children into a pre-scientific worldview and a sick morality, often succeeding so thoroughly that those same children grow up to become adults who are immune to reason, or who suffer terrible guilt and shame when they try to free themselves from all the nonsense.

    We don’t even have to get onto the subject of pedophilia (though why not?) to identify the evil of how religion – and once again, most definitely the Cult of Misery – treats children.

  41. #41 Nick Gotts
    November 30, 2008

    For a surprising insight into the direct use of Disney cartoons for political propaganda in Chile after Pinochet’s coup, and various other aspects of the Disney cult, read Dorfman and Mattelart’s How to Read Donald Duck.

  42. #42 Hank Fox
    November 30, 2008

    Shorter Byers: Media = Enemy.

    And Robert, I hate it too when real Americans let those foreign devils into their home, and then get attacked for it. If they’d just turned back that damned Mayflower in 1620, this would be a much nicer place to live.

    And was “The Wedding Crashers” really a Jewish rant? I must have missed that part. Here I was thinking it was a comedy and love story. Now I’ll have to watch it again, to see if I can pick up on that Jewish ranting.

  43. #43 negentropyeater
    November 30, 2008

    Byers,

    you can always turn to Adams family values.

    Here’s a fun scene for thanksgiving, the turkey song and the play gone wrong ;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptLD0kCoHG4

    Sure you’ll like it.

  44. #44 Marc Abian
    November 30, 2008

    [blockquote]Gyaagh! The Catholics really turn my stomach. They are an evil, evil mob. I’d rather leave my child in the hands of the Hell’s Angels than trust a scum-sucking Catholic priest/rapist.[/blockquote]

    Your brush may be a little too broad. I have to say, many of the priests I’ve met are very nice and really don’t deserve that kind of animosity. The church on the other hand…

  45. #45 Sili
    November 30, 2008

    Johannes XXIII?

    Wasn’t he supposed to be the ultra-progressive one?

  46. #46 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    November 30, 2008

    Byers your real name wouldn’t be Bayridge Brooklyn would it?

  47. #47 quasarpulse
    November 30, 2008

    Well…hypocrisy aside (and I’m not defending the Catholic Church!) I’m still no fan of Disney. I don’t like their reinforcement of gender roles in small children (the whole “Disney princess” thing really turns my stomach.) Doesn’t bother me in the originals because they were products of their time, but Disney’s new stuff ought to be a product of its time, not a deliberate throwback.

    I’m also not impressed by their black/white good/evil dualistic fantasy world. Of course, that’s probably the only thing the Catholic Church still likes about them.

  48. #48 Moses
    November 30, 2008

    Religion is like a metastasized cancer in the body society. Sure, there are few fingers and toes not riddled with tumor, but the body is shot as most of the organs are riddled with tumors.

  49. #49 Moses
    November 30, 2008

    Posted by: Becca | November 29, 2008 9:45 PM

    personally i find disneyism less horrible than Religion. at least, no one tells you you’ll suffer for all eternity if you don’t go see their newest movie…

    clearly you don’t have small children.

    Yeah because your, oh, being required to say “no” to your child is as traumatic as your child getting raped by a Priest.

    Hello? Hello? Are you thinking? Because your comment is not even good sarcasm.

  50. #50 Walton
    November 30, 2008

    On the one hand, this abbot’s comments were very silly (as religious leaders’ comments on the world of commerce most often are; witness Rowan Williams’ and John Sentamu’s comments a couple of months ago about City speculators). Disney is harmless fun. Yes, they want to sell merchandise and make money; so what? There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. If there were no money in the children’s entertainment industry, there wouldn’t be any decent-quality children’s entertainment.

    On the other hand, I do think it’s unfair to accuse the abbot personally of hypocrisy. Yes, one can condemn the duplicity of the Vatican hierarchy in the past in covering up sex abuse cases. But those priests who commit sexual abuse are, statistically, a tiny minority. Lots of Catholics, both clergy and laymen, are good and decent people, and they have every right to express an opinion about moral issues (albeit, in this case, one with which I disagree).

  51. #51 Hans
    November 30, 2008

    A 69 page document dealing with sex? They couldn’t have put in some filler to round that out to 70, could they?

  52. #52 Shrdlu
    November 30, 2008

    Quite right. I, for one, would like to see more hardship, heartbreak and confusion in children’s cartoons and movies. Less sing alongs with cuddly animals and more unpredictable events and sadness. If only the Lion King had had a few foreclosures in it…

    There’s a whole world of possibility in-between those two extremes, you know.

  53. #53 Jeeves
    November 30, 2008

    I’m afraid I don’t understand how realism could possibly improve a story about industrious woodworking dwarfs, talking/singing animals or an elephant that can fly. Yes, the stories have a basic structure but they are also fanciful and wholly unrealistic. They are children’s tales, first and foremost. What would the intrinsic value of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs be if Snow White died in the end and her Prince went without his Princess? Would the last few minutes show him wandering the forest alone? Do you really want to explain the vagaries of life to your child through a cartoon movie?

    I hate to write this but this is too reminiscent of a lot of social conservatives that watch The Waltons or Little House on the Prairie or The Andy Griffith Show as if it were a documentary of the fifties. They complain that too few people are living their lives like Michael Landon’s character. I don’t get it. I always thought people watched these shows (and Disney cartoons/movies) for the acting or the animation and the songs or for the sweet feelings the characters had for one another…but that doesn’t mean they should be held to the standards of the real world! It’s fiction. Look at my sign in name. Jeeves was one of the characters in P.G. Wodehouse’s many stories and novels. Those stories were not true to life and realistic at all. In their own way, they were as far fetched as something on Dr. Who. To read one of his novels and say “no, no real person could ever be so foolish and ridiculous” completely misses the point of it all. Humph! I’m done. Rant over. You can all go above ground now.

  54. #54 Julian Kuleck
    November 30, 2008

    From what I know, Disney has had a long-term policy of covering up sexual shenanigans at their own parks involving children, for the obvious monetary reasons. They may fire the worker involved, but report it to the police? Rarely.

    They may not have the illustrious, long history of pedopriests, but Disney doesn’t exactly have clean white gloves there, either.

  55. #55 gaypaganunitarianagnostic
    November 30, 2008

    In a ‘realistic’ future, The Enterprise would spend 98% of it’s time scanning lifeless, dull planets

  56. #56 Rey Fox
    November 30, 2008

    From Idaho
    Boy, I feel sorry for the Canadians here whenever Robert Byers shows up. It’s as if he’s single-handedly trying to sabotage the image of that nation.

    Meanwhile, Robert, if Hollywood is not to your liking, there are whole cottage industries devoted to Christian bromides. The video rack at your local Hallmark store alone could keep you contented for weeks.

  57. #57 Kel
    November 30, 2008

    Robert Byers is even more nonsensical than usual. Not sure what the fuck he is saying there, kind of glad I don’t tbh.

  58. #58 Malcolm
    November 30, 2008

    Walton,
    Why do you always insist on missing the point?
    It isn’t the fact that there are paedophiles in the Catholic church that annoys people, its the cover up.

    The Pope told everyone not to talk to the cops.

    All those good decent clergy and lay people you refer to are, by their silence, condoning that cover up.

  59. #59 Kel
    November 30, 2008

    Walton,
    Why do you always insist on missing the point?

    It’s what he does best.

  60. #60 Mark Borok
    November 30, 2008

    Licensing their properties was the only way Disney was able to make money on their very expensive animated features. And, during the Depression, Mickey Mouse was the only thing that kept some companies solvent.

    I also don’t buy into the corruption of children by materialism claim. I remember being a child. All toys and books were a spark to the imagination; I didn’t want the latest action figures because I was “greedy”, I wanted them because I knew I would have fun playing with them.

  61. #61 Marie the Bookwyrm
    November 30, 2008

    To Moses @ 48—I think what Becca meant was that if you have small children and don’t take them to the latest Disney movie, they will make you suffer for all eternity. :)

  62. #62 castletonsnob
    November 30, 2008

    Julian Kulek @53 wrote:

    From what I know, Disney has had a long-term policy of covering up sexual shenanigans at their own parks involving children, for the obvious monetary reasons.

    Can you provide any kind of evidence for this accusation?

  63. #63 papa zita
    November 30, 2008

    Jeeves,
    Much of Wodehouse’s writing is satirical and often about the public-school clubman set. They are generally useless people who live only for childish pleasures. They don’t have to work, and are set for life. Bertie Wooster is hardly even the most ridiculous of the characters he created. Good satire has to make extreme situations plausible and funny. Fantasy doesn’t have those limitations as real life never needs to gets involved. There is a difference in a Disney fantasy, and it isn’t subtle. If you read a Wodehouse story like Psmith In The City, it’s quite plausible and still very funny, and with the Wooster/Jeeves stories, he pushes his satirical touch to the absolute limit. My favorite of the stories I’ve read is Joy In The Morning. One limitation in Wodehouse is that he invariably gets Americans wrong, sometimes in subtle ways, other times more obviously.

  64. #64 Azkyroth
    November 30, 2008

    Well…hypocrisy aside (and I’m not defending the Catholic Church!) I’m still no fan of Disney. I don’t like their reinforcement of gender roles in small children (the whole “Disney princess” thing really turns my stomach.) Doesn’t bother me in the originals because they were products of their time, but Disney’s new stuff ought to be a product of its time, not a deliberate throwback.

    Any thoughts on “Mulan?”

  65. #65 Azkyroth
    November 30, 2008

    On the other hand, I do think it’s unfair to accuse the abbot personally of hypocrisy. Yes, one can condemn the duplicity of the Vatican hierarchy in the past in covering up sex abuse cases. But those priests who commit sexual abuse are, statistically, a tiny minority. Lots of Catholics, both clergy and laymen, are good and decent people, and they have every right to express an opinion about moral issues (albeit, in this case, one with which I disagree).

    No one has the “right” not to be criticized, and criticizing someone has no bearing on their “right to express an opinion.” I’m getting really tired of correcting this idiotic misconception.

  66. #66 Jeeves
    November 30, 2008

    @papa zita,

    My first couple of choices for a name were Barmy Fotheringay-Phipps or Gussie Fink-Nottle, so I certainly know the absurd characters within his stories. I suppose my favorite novels would be Right ho, Jeeves (Jeeves & Wooster) Summer Lightning (Blandings Castle) and Damsel in Distress (Miscellaneous). Those choices will probably change by tomorrow though! I think Wodehouse’s problem with Americans’ characterizations was that he never spent any real time beyond New York City and (briefly)Hollywood, certainly not the best places to understand Americans, beyond the latest slang.

  67. #67 Sven DiMilo
    November 30, 2008

    Hey, want to hear my Robt. Byers imitation???

    No?

  68. #68 Robert Byers
    December 1, 2008

    FROM CANADA
    OH NO. ITS NOT JUST ATTACKING A FEW TOP LEADERS IN ALLEGED COVERUP.
    T he whole use of the evil deeds done by a few, wrongly handled by a few, and done to a few has been the same agenda as done on this forum. It is not a accusation against a few people in a hugh organization. rather its using theses examples to attack the mora; credibility and foundations of the Catholic church and Christianity.
    There is a moral culture war going on, as Pat Buchanan puts it for the soul of America, as a leader for the good guys is the religious leaders of Evangelical Protestant, Roman Catholic, other Protestants, Mormons etc.
    So the bad guys across the board attack the moral credibility and therefore leadership of Christian leaders. This because the moral leadership of christian leaders holds credibility and influence over even uninterested common people. The establishment, bad guys, puts itself forward as the moral leadership and simply just needs to eliminate opposition.
    one could find abuses in any great organization extending back decades. Yet all would say its just a few people even with a with high people covering up.
    Yet the use of this is unre;ated to interests in victims but is a weapon to try to discredit not just one opponents but the great weapon of ones opponent in this special case. The catholic churches moral credibility and authority.

    The roman Catholic church in America during the abuse timetable has been 98% of high moral character and more then those uninterested in religious matters and how they make men better then natural inclination.

    The attack of Catholics for these few abuses is unjust, silly, and a failure and a sign of a deep division in America at the top ends of society.
    The establishment is anti- christian with a dream to destroy the christian identity and influence that is americas true soul.
    The establishment is Anti-American because they are not true Americans at heart or they hate their home being in essence what they hate. Traditional hostility to the common man by arrogant upper classes.

    Nope. its not about coverups. Look into your own motivations. You accuse others enough.

  69. #69 RickrOll
    December 1, 2008

    “The establishment, Man!” Go smoke some more bongs and lay of the comment posting Byers.

  70. #70 Rey Fox
    December 1, 2008

    Why all this concern over the soul of America, Robert? You’re Canadian, as you point out in every single comment! Live it up!

  71. #71 Miranda Hale
    December 1, 2008

    If one wants to assert that Disney is some sort of a corrupt, greedy, cynical, indoctrination machine, fine, but the Catholic Church has always been and most likely will always be infinitely more so on all accounts. I mean, I’m still fucked up from my Catholic indoctrination filled upbringing, but, in contrast, my childhood exposure to all things Disney doesn’t seem to have caused me too much lasting damage, if any at all.

  72. #72 Azkyroth
    December 1, 2008

    Given that PZ’s been on and posted, I’m a bit puzzled by the failure of my comment to appear. It may have been eaten, I suppose.

    Just in case:

    To Moses @ 48—I think what Becca meant was that if you have small children and don’t take them to the latest Disney movie, they will make you suffer for all eternity. :)

    Anecdotal evidence suggests that, assuming (as it seems to be) that this is the same Moses, what Becca or any other commenter he lays into actually meant doesn’t interest him in the slightest.

  73. #73 Mathi Lusch
    December 1, 2008

    Let’s not forgot that in 1962, this was the norm for all organizations that had to deal with this, since there was no psychology, laws, etc. dealing with this. Instead of poking at the Catholic Church, let’s take a look at the Public School System. Both the John Jay Institute and the AP published a series last year on the pedophiles, moving of accused teachers, the lack of background checks, etc. on public school teachers. Their numbers make the Catholic Church look insignificant.

    As far as Disney goes, they are run by NBC and got rid of their non-computer animators. Nuff said!!! :)

  74. #74 Steve_C
    December 1, 2008

    What numbers? And how can you compare them to the Catholic church when they don’t exactly produce any stats on it either.

  75. #75 Steve_C
    December 1, 2008

    And Disney owns ABC Mathi… and PIXAR is the level for which all animated movies strive for now. Do try and keep up.

  76. #76 frog
    December 1, 2008

    Malcolm: Walton, Why do you always insist on missing the point?

    ‘Cause he’s kinda stupid? That would be my guess — it’s the general pattern of ideologists, well-spoken but they have a one track mind with no perspective.

    Other choice — marginal schizophrenic. Also common among the indoctrinated.

  77. #77 Ann
    December 1, 2008

    Don’t worry, Becca. “Clearly you don’t have small children” was funny. Moses apparently isn’t aware of the tradition of [black] humor on this site.

  78. #78 hery
    January 25, 2010

    i think not 100% agree with that

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